Get caught providing alcohol to an underage child without responsible supervision and face fines of up to $8000.
Get caught providing alcohol to an underage child without responsible supervision and face fines of up to $8000.

Parents face teen alcohol dilemma

AS SCHOOL leavers prepare to celebrate, parents face the dilemma of whether to give their children alcohol for Schoolies Week.

While some may argue that supplying it is the safest option because it prevents teenagers from sourcing it elsewhere, others believe it is a recipe for disaster.

It has always been an offence to supply alcohol to minors on licensed premises or in a public place, but under laws introduced in 2008, adults must provide responsible supervision to minors when supplying them with alcohol at private places such as schoolies.

Penalties are high - get caught providing alcohol to an underage child without responsible supervision and face fines of up to $8000.

These penalties don't just apply to parents - older friends and siblings can also be held liable.

Judging by the statistics, parents of school leavers must feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

A national survey of 12 to 17-year-olds found parents were the most common source of alcohol for those who had consumed liquor.

But figures from the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey state that more than one in three teenagers in this age group were victims of an alcohol-related incident in the previous year.

So the question being asked by parents is: "should I buy my teenager alcohol for Schoolies Week?"

The answer is no, says Attorney-General Paul Lucas, who this week announced a new statewide advertising campaign to spread the message that supplying alcohol to underage teenagers is dangerous and could end in a hefty fine for parents.

A Parents Guide to a Safer Schoolies can be found online at Queensland Goverment's schoolies website, as well as tips and information for school leavers to help them stay safe, protect their privacy and have a good time.

Penalties are high - get caught providing alcohol to an underage child without responsible supervision and face fines of up to $8000.

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